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javahead wrote:Why do they have to remove the head for cryonic prep?
Apparently they don't have to. From the Wikipedia article on cryonics:
Neuropreservation is cryopreservation of the brain, often within the head, with surgical removal and disposal (usually cremation) of the rest of the body. Neuropreservation, sometimes called “neuro,” is one of two distinct preservation options in cryonics, the other being "whole body" preservation.
Neuropreservation is motivated by the brain's role as the primary repository of memory and personal identity. (For instance, spinal cord injury victims, organ transplant patients, and amputees retain their personal identity.) It is also motivated by the belief that reversing any type of cryonic preservation is so difficult and complex that any future technology capable of it must by its nature be capable of generalized tissue regeneration, including growth of a new body around a repaired brain. Some suggested revival scenarios for whole body patients even involve discarding the original body and regenerating a new body because tissues are so badly damaged by the preservation process. These considerations, along with lower costs, easier transportation in emergencies, and the specific focus on brain preservation quality, have motivated many cryonicists to choose neuropreservation.
The advantages and disadvantages of neuropreservation are often debated among cryonics advocates. Critics of neuropreservation note that the body is a record of much life experience, including learned motor skills (muscle memory). While few cryonicists doubt that a revived neuro patient would be the same person, there are wider questions about how a regenerated body might feel different from the original. Partly for these reasons (as well as for better public relations), the Cryonics Institute preserves only whole bodies. Some proponents of neuropreservation agree with these concerns, but still feel that lower costs and better brain preservation justify concentrating preservation efforts on the brain. About two-thirds of the patients stored at Alcor are neuropreservation patients. Although the American Cryonics Society no longer offers the neuropreservation option, about half of their patients are "neuros".
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